Syrian president President Bashar al-Assad is set to secure an overwhelming victory, as Syrians headed to the polls whilst the country is still torn by civil war.

Assad has been leader since succeeding his father in 2000, and the election presents the first time in decades that more than one name has appeared on the ballot paper. Analysts have said this is an attempt by the Assad regime to present the vote as a way to solve the crisis.

Critics however have denounced the election as a sham, saying that no credible vote can be held in Syria whilst the war is still taking place, and vast swathes of the country are not under state control.

Tens on thousands have died and millions have been displaced in the three-year conflict. Rebels battling the Assad regime stepped up attacks in government-controlled areas in the buildup to the election, seeking to disrupt the vote.